It is snowing here in Palestine. My visitors from Gaza (a child being treated and his father) wish to go back to their family even though their wife tells us that they have no water and no electricity and that parts of the refugee camp that they live in is flooded (in Rafah). But we are all concerned for the even more precarious position of refugees from Syria (both Palestinain and Syrians who esca[ped the fighting and now live in tents in a snow blizzard).
Those horrific conditions in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan make it even harder to understand the subservience to Israel of Mahmoud Abbas and company. In meeting with journalists in South Africa, Abbas went against the growing BDS movement that is supported by hundreds of Palestinian civil society organizations. Abbas said to journalists in answer to a question: “No we do not support the boycott of Israel. But we ask everyone to boycott the products of the settlements. Because the settlements are in our territories..… But we don’t ask anyone to boycott Israel itself. We have relations with Israel, we have mutual recognition of Israel.” What mutual recognition is he talking about since Israel does not recognize any rights nor does it recognize there is a Palestine. His comments drew condemnation from South African and Palestinian activists. Abbas also did not mention the refugees, the ethnic cleansing, the Israeli apartheid, or even the close cooperation between Apartheid South Africa and Apartheid Israel including in nuclear weapon development.[that was part of the reason Netanyahu and Peres both skipped the ceremonies as there was a call in South Africa to protest their attendance]
The denial of Palestinian rights to please Israel seems to know no boundaries. The World Bank just sent a press release (available in Hebrew and English but not Arabic at the world bank website). The release hails the signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementation of Phase 1 plans of the horrific Red Sea-Dead Sea project. The Phase 1 MoU was signed by Israeli apartheid minister and war criminal Silvan Shalom, by Minister Hazim El-Naser for Jordan and Minister Shaddad Attili for the Palestinian Authority. The MoU includes: a) the development of a Jordanian desalination plant in Aqaba where the water produced will be shared with Israel free, b) releases of water by Israel from Lake Tiberias for use in Jordan (Jordan will pay for it even though it is part of the 1994 agreement), c) the sale of about 20-30 million m3/year of desalinated water from Mekorot (the Israeli water utility) to the Palestinian Water Authority for use in the West Bank (this is also Palestinian water), d) a pipeline from the desalination plant at Aqaba would convey brine to the Dead Sea to study the effects of mixing the brine with Dead Sea water.
My field of research focuses on environmental issues. All environmental groups (even Israeli ones) opposed these plans from the time that Israel as a colonial power tried to peddle them in the 1990s. As all colonial powers, they destroy things and then destroy in other areas. The Red-Dead Canal is it is now known intends to “save the shrinking Dead Sea”. But there are two main sources of decline in Dead Sea Water levels: A) Diversion of upstream waters which resulted in decrease in water flow in the Jordan River from 1300 million cubic meters (mcm) annually in the early 1950s to about 200 mcm and B) Dead Sea water used per year by the chemical industries is estimated at > 262 MCM. Both of these environmental problems are from Israel. Instead of reversing them, Israel (now with help of Jordanian and Palestinian authorities) intends to create a new problem. It is highly disturbing to see this trend of destruction, collusion, lack of direction, and continued people suffering.
Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons
Exclusive: Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons
Red Sea – Dead Sea canal and desalination, destruction of the Wadi Araba area
Palestinian activism grows at US universities: Despite heavy backlashes, academic institutions are increasingly endorsing boycotts against Israel's occupation
In South Africa, Abbas opposes boycott of Israel
Walid Khalidi’s classic book “Before Their Diaspora: A photographic history of Palestinians 1876-1948” Now available online
Better Six Billion than 6 Trillion! Bibi and Bandar Badger Obamam.. What the GCC/Arab League/Israeli team is asking of its western allies (meaning of course mainly the US) is to immediately fund the IF to the tune of $ 5.5 billion. This, Israeli security officials argue, is pocket change compared to the $6 trillion spent in US ‘terrorist’ wars of the past decade.
On The Side Of The Road by Israeli journalist Lia Tarachansky poses difficult questions about memory and responsibility and relates to how Israeli Zionists refuse to face the past and own-up to the crimes of ethnic cleansing (that are still ongoing)
Silence is complicity